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Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Nov;100(11):2519-25.

Performance characteristics and evaluation of an automated-developed and quantitative, immunochemical, fecal occult blood screening test.

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Gastroenterology Department, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Hospital, Petach Tikva, Israel.



Guaiac fecal occult blood colorectal cancer (CRC) screening tests (FOBT) are faulted for low sensitivity and nonspecificity for human hemoglobin (Hb). Automated-developed, immunochemical, human Hb FOBT (I-FOBT) is specific, eliminates diet restrictions, and Hb quantification allows selection of a threshold for colonoscopy. Aims were to determine 1) test reproducibility; 2) test stability; 3) intrapatient daily I-FOBT variation; 4) test sensitivity and specificity for neoplasia in 500 symptomatic/high-risk patients undergoing colonoscopy; and 5) to correlate fecal Hb measurements with findings.


The desktop instrument OC-Sensor (Eiken, Japan) automatically develops and quantitates 50 tests/h for Hb. Patients prepared three tests, which were quantified and then 1) repeatedly re-examined; 2) stored at 4 degrees C or 20 degrees C or 28 degrees C and repeatedly examined; and 3) fecal Hb levels were correlated with colonoscopic findings.


Five I-FOBTs re-examined five times in 1 day had no significant measurement changes. Thirty tests stored for 21 or more days had a decay/day of 0.3%+/- 0.4 at 4 degrees C (NS), 2.2%+/- 1.7 at 20 degrees C (NS), and 3.7%+/- 1.8 at 28 degrees C (p < 0.05). There were intrapatient variations between the three daily I-FOBTs (NS). At the recommended 100 ng Hb/mL threshold, all six cases of CRCs and 20 out of 28 cases of advanced adenomas were detected; evaluated together their sensitivity and specificity were 76.5% and 95.3%.


Desktop, automated-developed, quantitative I-FOBT is now available. Refrigerated OC-Sensor samples are stable for 21 days, easy to prepare and develop and, at the 100 ng Hb/mL threshold, have high sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive values for significant neoplasia. Suitability for population CRC screening awaits further evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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